(Besançon, ca. 1430). 174 x 126 mm. (6 3/4 x 5"). Single column, 13 lines on verso (three on recto), in a fine gothic book hand.
Rubrics in red, capitals struck with yellow, one- and two-line initials in gold on a blue and pink ground, recto with a fine three-line initial painted in pink on a gold ground, and, above it, A LOVELY HALF-PAGE MINIATURE OF THE CRUCIFIXION within a thin, arched gold frame, and supported by an elaborately decorated baguette with floral elaboration and white tracery in several colors and gold, the whole surrounded by a border of delicate hairline vines and colorful acanthus leaves, with the same style of border appearing on the fore margin of the verso. Lower border of recto a bit rubbed in one or two places, gold also with a few scuffs (but still quite bright), a small area of erosion to the blue of the Virgin's cloak, otherwise IN FINE CONDITION, quite smooth and clean, and with the paint retaining all of its vibrancy.
This touching depiction of the Crucifixion features Christ silhouetted against a starry pink sky, his head slightly bowed with an expression of pain. Blood flows freely from his wounds. His mother stands to the left in a blue cloak, hands folded and with a look of weary resignation on her face; to the right stands Saint John, his gaze averted and his hands in prayer. The similarities between the Crucifixion here and that in a Besançon Hours of about 1440 in Mettingen, Germany (Draiflessen Museum, Ms. Liberna 5) suggest a painter from Franche-Comté or eastern France. The more conservative character of the present scene, especially the rudimentary landscape, indicate that it was executed earlier than the German leaf, perhaps around 1430. The artist was clearly accomplished, and his powerfully quiet work features memorably emotional faces. (ST12837)
Add to Cart Price: $6,500.00
PJP Catalog: 70.387